This is a column by Jason Schreier dedicated to the analysis (and occasional mocking) of his favorite genre, the Japanese role-playing game. Whether it's because they're too antiquated or just too niche, he believes JRPGs don't get enough attention in the gaming industry today. It's time to change that.
Thanks to a lot of silly jargon and awkward phrasing, a large chunk of Final Fantasy XIII-2's conversations elevate it into the "wouldn't want anyone to watch me playing this" category, alongside titles like Star Ocean: The Last Hope and any Tales game.
"Become an arrow through time and speed your way to Serah," one of the game's characters says in the game's intro sequence. Other bits of dialogue are similarly awkward, mixing metaphors, dropping strange proper nouns and completely confusing whoever's playing (read: me).
(Another choice line: "If the paradox is eliminated, spacetime will return to normal.")
Of course, it'd be unfair to only pick on the latest Final Fantasy for this issue. Japanese role playing games -- even moreso than other game genres -- are not known for their fluid, witty dialogue. JRPG scripts are more infamous for mistranslations ("This guy are sick.") than smart or clever bits of writing.
But does it matter? Can a JRPG still be awesome even if its dialogue sucks?